North Wootton man banned from driving after taking car through King’s Lynn Morrisons car wash while drunk
A man has been banned from driving for more than two years after taking his vehicle through a car wash while drunk.
Denis Sudnickis, 43, of Bede Close in North Wootton, appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday charged with drink-driving.
He pleaded guilty to the offence, which he committed on July 9.
Crown prosecutor Colette Harper told magistrates that at around 5.30pm on that date, police attended the Morrisons petrol station at Coburg Street in Lynn after being told a drunken male was moving through its car wash.
Officers located the vehicle, although at that stage a woman was in the driver’s seat – with Sudnickis standing outside the Vauxhall Insignia.
The woman was subsequently asked to perform a breath test, but she was below the limit. However, a constable spoke to staff at the petrol station – who told them that Sudnickis had purchased a car wash while smelling “strongly” of alcohol.
The officer watched CCTV footage at the scene, and discovered that Sudnickis was clearly sitting in the driver’s seat while the car was taken through the wash.
Sudnickis, who had no previous convictions or cautions at the time, had exited the vehicle before police arrived.
The defendant himself was therefore asked to perform a breath test, which he failed – leading to his arrest. Later tests at the station revealed he had 110mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, higher than the legal limit of 35mcg.
In mitigation, solicitor George Sorrell said: “It is a high reading, and it is high enough for you to consider that it is serious enough for a community-based sentence.
“What happened was that the defendant, in drink, went to the Morrisons garage in Lynn. At that time, his wife was driving.
“She didn’t want to put the car into the car wash or take it out, and it was then she got outside. He bought a ticket and put it in the car wash.
“When the job was done, he reversed the clean car out of the car wash, he got out, his wife got in, and they drove off.
“He is a man of previous good character. He is a hard worker – he is a builder.”
Magistrates disqualified Sudnickis from driving for 26 months. Louise Barber, leading the bench, said: “As you appreciate, this is a very high reading.”
On his ban, she added: “That also includes car washes, McDonald’s. I very much suggest you do not even get behind the steering wheel of a stationary car, as the police may assume you are the driver.”
Sudnickis was also fined £1,166, and will pay court costs of £105 and a £466 victim surcharge.